A MUCH-LOVED volunteer who founded a Brownie troop in Billericay 40 years ago has been praised for her dedicatation to girlguiding.

Janet Masters was showered with flowers, messages of thanks and even musical offerings when girls and leaders from the 4th Burstead Brownies surprised her with a special celebration.

Janet started the 4th group after moving to Essex from Plymouth, in Devon, four decades ago. She remained Brown Owl until 2011, when she passed the baton to Sammi Radford.

At the time, Sammi was just 18 and thought to be the youngest Brown Owl in Essex. Sammi, now 21, said: “Janet is an inspiration to me and many others for her hard work. She is dedicated to Brownies and Guiding.

“We were thrilled to throw her a surprise celebration where we presented her with gifts as a thank you for everything she has done. The Brownies also sang a special song for her.”

Janet, 65, who is Girlguiding Commissioner for Burstead district and lives in Billericay, said: “I felt tingly all over after such a wonderful surprise.

Being involved with the Brownies, just like a lot of volunteering roles, is extremely rewarding and I’d recommend it to anyone.

“Being in the Brownies is so much fun and the girls learn so many skills. This group has always been like a little family and Sammi has kept that going.”

The group meets at Sunnymede Junior School, in the Meadow Way, Billericay, every Thursday evening